Justin Faulk failed to live up to expectations yet again in 2016-17, posting an underwhelming 37 points for the second consecutive season. Furthermore, from a plus-minus perspective, his minus-18 last year ranked him second worst among Hurricanes defensemen, and marked the third straight time he landed in negative double-digit territory. Overall, there was a time when Faulk was considered one of the NHL's most promising young blueliners following his 49-point season in 2014-15 (12th among NHL defensemen), but he has regressed badly over the past two seasons and no longer carries this distinction. The good news is that after missing 18 games with an assortment of injuries two seasons ago, Faulk played in 75 of 82 last year, making his durability less of a concern heading into the 2017-18 campaign. At just 24 years old, Faulk still has an impressive offensive skill set, meaning a rebound season is certainly not out of the question. However, with a mediocre supporting cast in Raleigh, the chances of returning to elite form are not encouraging. He remains very much a high-risk, high-reward player from a fantasy perspective.
Faulk scored a power-play goal in a 3-2 loss to the Penguins on Sunday. As usual, Faulk is killing owners in the plus/minus category, but as far as goal-scoring goes, only Brent Burns has more goals than Faulk among NHL defensemen. What's a little unexpected, though, is only four of his 17 goals have come on the man advantage. Last season, he posted 12 power-play markers. The lack of special teams scoring has limited Faulk's value.
Faulk tallied a pair of assists -- one on the power play -- in Tuesday's 4-1 win over Detroit. After scoring two goals in Monday's game against these same Red Wings, the Minnesota native continued his abuse of the Detroit defense by playing setup man. Faulk's assist totals have lagged both this season and last thanks to playing for a Carolina team that isn't known for generating tons of offense, but the guy is 25 years old with three 15-goal seasons under his belt. He's one of the most underrated stars in the league, all because of his poor team context.
Faulk scored two goals and registered nine shots on net during Monday's overtime loss to Detroit. The 25-year-old defenseman flashed his upside Monday, but the offense has been hit or miss of late, as Faulk has hit the scoresheet in just six of his past 21 games; he's totaled five goals, eight points and 57 shots in that span. For the campaign, he's matched last season's 16 tallies and has 17 helpers, so Faulk has maintained plenty of his fantasy value. Additionally, outside of his minus-11 rating, the peripheral numbers are solid (30 PIM, 101 hits and 76 blocked shots through 67 games). Now entering his prime, look for Faulk to continue providing strong fantasy numbers, and there's room for growth with a lot of high-upside players around him in Carolina.
Faulk (undisclosed) took pregame line rushes, signaling that he will likely suit up for Tuesday's clash with the Islanders. It appears that Faulk will tough it out despite reports that he might not be ready to go. He's slated to skate on Carolina's second defensive pairing alongside Noah Hanifin on Tuesday.
Faulk is considered questionable for Tuesday night's matchup with the Islanders after blocking a shot in the third period of Monday's win over the same squad. Faulk was evidently able to finish out Monday's game without leaving but is now suffering from adverse effects of the shot that hit him. The injury comes at an inopportune for the American blueliner, as he is currently riding a four-game point streak, during which he has recorded three goals and two assists. Check back for an update on Faulk's status prior to puck drop.
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Last 7 Games
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